Ode to the quiet rebel

Oh you, shy you
Wearing red when everyone else wears blue
writing stories underneath the desk during maths class
pockets full of poems
and head full of questions 
Stay true, quiet rebel, stay true 

Injecting socialist quips into the capitalist force 
hoping for the butterfly effect 
leading by example 
not do as I say
Stay true, quiet rebel, stay true

Ink stained hands balled into fists
when the digital box shows more injustice 
feeling like an outsider
a left among the right
Stay true, quiet rebel, stay true

Keep being you with that quiet strength
that gives the rest of us resolve 
you don’t have to sing or shout.
Don’t worry, I hear your voice 
So stay true, quiet rebel, stay true 
By Kimberly Jamison 

For my favourite quiet rebels : Andrea, Lisa and Lizzie

Constructive destruction

trek down through crisp leaves, red fruit
to the pit of unspoken words
stone circles keeping safe from the fury within
duck under the flames
in and out through the dragon’s whisps 
embers snowing upon shoulders
branches above catching light
heat drawing tears from eyes
playing catch with the opaque smoke
giving the wooden offerings
finally rising up above are
the ghosts of what could have been

By Kimberly Jamison 

The Daughter of Atlas

I am unafraid
He made me that way.
The man with strong shoulders said to me
how heavy the world weighed
but he would take it day by day.
He held me up like I was porcelain and in one hand
taught me the worth of the words I’m Proud Of You
but sadness can be defiant too
dreams can be shattered before you even wake
and you find yourself bruised at 22
haunted by what life has thrown at you
with enough nightmares to fill a lifetime
ran out of tears. Stuck. Still.

I scream at night during thunderstorms.
It’s Unfair.
I rage louder than the thunder burning through the night
then put the mask back on when it is finally daytime.
It’s Unfair.
But I was prepared.

Inside the porcelain shell is a core of titanium
with veins full of Gaelic liquor
heart fire, soul supernova, raw grit
scarred with the words Keep Going.
Be Defiant. He said.
The universe can’t give you more than you can handle
just enough before you crumble
your life is weighed and measured, careful
just enough, just enough to push, to live
You will end up where you need to be. You will be given what you need.
My shoulders are strong enough to take the burden
and on lighter days pick up others too
because that’s what he would have done
it’s my turn to take up the post.
With gratitude for those who have gone before me
I will take the world in a warm embrace
I am the daughter of Atlas
I am unafraid.

by Kimberly Jamison

Singing Bowl

The singing bowl rings
Bless this space, it whispers
through the trees, the weeds, the bamboo cane.
But it didn’t bless that chair with no seat
or the hub cap gong
it didn’t bless the neighbours when everything went wrong.

The singing bowl rings
Bless the heart that still needs mending, it hums
like the broken trowel through constant weeding
the only thing that has no ending
as if to remind us we are part of this circle
and despite our faith or lack of
the earth is more important and will live on.

The singing bowl rings
Bless the mind that can’t stop wheeling, it howls
louder than the thunderstorms that tore down
roofs and flooded streets
making the air cold, clear, clean
allowing me to breathe.

The singing bowl rings
Bless the ones who cannot feel, it mourns
and makes non believers question 
believers doubt, and only offers advice
to those here, in the moment, those who know the grass and the ash
those who are still.

The singing bowl rings
Bless this space, it cries
and through the wind it sings
harmonising with the pulse in my veins.
As the vibrations tickle my palm
and in the middle of the sweating city, 
I am calm.

By Kimberly Jamison 

Blue #342

It was the dark pastel blue of my art set
the sky and the sea smudging together
it was the blue of years to come
the filter over my nightmares
the blue of bruises just about to fade
of veins under sunburn
of the pavement under rain.

You see, its the blue I always avoid.
It’s the blue your face became.

By Kimberly Jamison


In olden times, before GPS, adventurers would use sextants to find their way through more dangerous waters
but since you have returned home to the stars you were made from
I have no trouble navigating treacherous times
and although I wish you were still on this earth
I have no more need for metal instruments
I just look towards my celestial guide

By Kimberly Jamison


How would you have us greet your tyrant?
We greet ours with balls of wool
mulled pigs and fatted wine.
We close our eyes as they devour our land
and tax the air we breathe
every demand concede.

How would you have us greet your tyrant?
We greet ours with the skin from our backs
and rub his feet with the fat from the slaughterhouse.
But will tell you your practices are uncivilised and undemocratic
with our arms roped behind our shoulders
You could learn from us folk.

How would you have us greet your tyrant?
we ask to be civil
crocodile smiles in shiny chains
let’s not start a war just yet
because we know we are the cannon fodder.

How would you have us greet your tyrant?
We would dishonestly like to know
because in the name of democracy
of us have decided
we would like to swap one for another.

By Kimberly Jamison